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Brain Tumors

A tumor is an abnormal growth of tissue. About 70 percent of primary brain tumors are benign (non-cancerous), do not spread, and have distinct boundaries. The other 30 percent are malignant (cancerous), which is always life threatening. They may, but usually do not, spread to other locations in the brain or spinal cord.

Symptoms of a Brain Tumor Can Include:

  • Frequent headaches
  • Nausea
  • Blurred or double vision
  • Weakness or numbness on one side
  • Hearing loss
  • Unsteadiness
  • Loss of smell
  • Memory disturbances
  • Personality changes
  • Seizures
  • Speech problems

Surgical removal is often the best means of treating a brain tumor, even if it involves a crucial part of the brain. Sometimes it may be possible to remove only a portion of the tumor. In either case, surgery is generally followed by radiation or chemotherapy to kill remaining tumor cells.

Long-Term Outlook

The long term outlook depends on a number of factors: what type of tumor is involved, where in the brain it is located, what stage it is in. Both benign and malignant tumors can cause neurological impairment.
(Taken from InteliHealth, John Hopkins Health Information)

How Could This Interfere with Learning?

Symptoms of brain tumors are related to their location. Therefore, any physical or mental functions conceivably can be affected by the presence of a tumor in the area of the brain associated with that function

  • Concentration may be difficult due to headaches
  • Visual problems may make it difficult to read information on the blackboard or see overheads
  • If there is weakness in the dominant hand, written activities may be difficult
  • Hearing loss may make lectures difficult
  • Memory problems may require need for repetition and memory aids
  • Medication might be needed to control seizures or relieve headache pain. This may also affect concentration.

Example of Possible Accommodations

Accommodations would relate to the area of difficulty. Possible accommodations that might be needed are:

  • Notetaker
  • Extended time both in class and in testing
  • Reduced distraction for testing
  • Scribe
  • Preferential seating
  • Use of an FM system